The Radicalism of the American Revolution

  • by Gordon S. Wood
  • Narrated by Paul Boehmer
  • 19 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, History, 1993
Grand in scope, rigorous in its arguments, and elegantly synthesizing 30 years of scholarship, Gordon S. Wood's Pulitzer Prize–winning book analyzes the social, political, and economic consequences of 1776. In The Radicalism of the American Revolution, Wood depicts not just a break with England, but the rejection of an entire way of life: of a society with feudal dependencies, a politics of patronage, and a world view in which people were divided between the nobility and "the Herd." He shows how the theories of the country's founders became realities that sometimes baffled and disappointed them. Above all, Bancroft Prize–winning historian Wood rescues the revolution from abstraction, allowing readers to see it with a true sense of its drama---and not a little awe.

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What the Critics Say

"The most important study of the American Revolution to appear in over twenty years...a landmark book." (Pauline Maier, The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A unique and relevant look at the founding

It is easy to see how this book is relevant to understanding America today - society, politics and government.

Wood doesn't quite say it this way, but his basic argument is this: the founding generation were trying to create a new society, but they failed to create the one they envisioned. Instead, the society they created turned out better - from the perspective of modern Americans - because it is more democratic than they imagined any place ever could be.
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- Zachary

The matter of class

What did you love best about The Radicalism of the American Revolution?

This account of the revolution is fascinating for its focus on issues of class which were, on the one hand, much less distinct than those of England, and yet more distinct than we would recognize. It is a useful perspective for me as a history teacher.


What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

I prefer readers who don't call attention to themselves in the reading. This fits the bill


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- Neale

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-30-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio